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Cauley-Stein: ‘I’m too nice. I have to become more of a dog and take over games’

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Cauley-Stein says he should be looking for his shot more

Kimani Okearah

Willie Cauley-Stein returned Friday after missing two games with a right knee bone contusion and left foot strain. Following the 119-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors, he said his body feels good and that he isn’t experiencing any pain.

He also talked about how he is playing too “nice.”

“I’m too nice. I have to become more of a dog and take over games like that. That’s where my mental is at right now is I’m too nice. I’ve just got to change the way I think a little bit and try to go at dudes, especially when I haven’t seen the ball in a while. Just next time you get it, go do your stuff, if you miss you miss, if you make it, great,” Cauley-Stein said.

When asked if he feels like he is holding back on offense sometimes, he responded with:

“No, I mean, I think I get to the point where like I try to run the play too much instead of just, this dude can‘t guard me so I’m just going to blow by him and make a play. I kind of try to set people up, try to get everybody else involved instead of taking it upon on myself, like everybody else does, and just go try get a bucket,” he said.

Head coach Dave Joerger was asked about Cauley-Stein.

“It’s difficult when he’s playing with Zach [Randolph] because we feature Zach, or we’re trying to get a bucket we go to Zach in the low post. They [Warriors] played Willie with fours, so they switch him so should he pick and pop and stay on the perimeter, should he go down in the post and try do some work there? So, he’s still just trying to find a rhythm and he’s never really played with anybody consistently as his front-court mate,” Joerger said. “He made some terrific plays defensively, I loved how active we were and he was a big part of that.”

Cauley-Stein has shown improvements on the offensive end this season, specifically with his ball handling, and is currently averaging 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists to go along with 1 steal per game.